Since its release, Divinity has been met with almost unanimous critical acclaim; and rightfully so. It’s science fiction that brings to mind names like Asimov and Clarke, titans of the genre that used their imaginations to inspire the rest of us to look beyond the reality of our world and speculate on some amazing possibilities. To say that Matt Kindt is in rare form wouldn’t do him justice. He’s doing some killer work for Valiant on a number of titles and he’s really raising the bar for creators industry wide.
Three issues into this four-part miniseries and I see that he’s taking this book in a philosophical direction that’s not usually attempted, let alone achieved. Where a great many writers tend toward nihilism, or it’s less bleak cousin relativism, this story seems to push a theme of hope. That’s not to say that the book isn’t without its moments of dread, instances where the stark realization that existence may not have any redeeming value come to the fore.
Seems as if Kindt is keen to prompt these sorts of conundrums, through the Adams character. Inquiries about our modern beliefs concerning semiotics abound; is life without meaning, free for us to choose what does and does not matter or is there something else, a pattern – a rhythm perhaps – that we have yet to discern?
Divinity isn’t all high-minded reasoning though, and we finally get to see what happens when Valiant’s resident super team goes up against the awesomely powered ex-Russian. The encounter is unusual, like everything else in this book, and troubling in a way that makes one wonder about the limits of Abram’s power. We’ve already seen what he can do on a whim, why provoke him? Because it’s a comic and that’s what you do in comics, that’s why.
What I’m most interested to learn if Abram is a less benevolent being than his recent interactions would suggest and as some scenes this issue have led me to believe. It’s “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
If there was a knock against the book, it was that we had no idea what happened to Abram while he was in the coldest reaches of space for nearly 60 years. Technically that argument could still be made here, as even though we’ve gotten a visual account of that fateful event, we, like Abram still don’t really know who or what initiated the cosmonaut’s life-changing transformation. That’s a huge “if” and I don’t think it’s a knock as much as part of the book’s mystique.
I’m not sure it’s all that important for the purposes of the story – yet. Abram is already so close to being a deity that whatever caused him to become this other thing is all but irrelevant unless this god-maker sent Adams ahead as a harbinger. There’s little indication this issue that that’s the case and I certainly hope it isn’t. I just feel like it would reduce what has been a great book to something pedestrian and predictable.
Whatever happens in the finale, I’m eager to read it as the suspense is literally (no, not actually) killing me.